Born, bred and corn fed is how I came to be. Hell, I have a tattoo of a stalk of corn on my right hip is anyone wants to judge my Nebraska-ness.
I grew up in Nebraska. I grew up watching Nebraska football. Watching Nebraska football were my Saturdays (and still are if I’m not working).
After high school, I decided that, even though I love Nebraska and always will, it wasn’t the place for me to further my education. So I went to the land of sunflowers and sunshine (and sons of….. if you’re talking to my dad) to the University of Kansas.
I’m still friends with many people who are die hard Nebraska fans on Facebook. I still have followers who are die hard Nebraska fans on Twitter.
A little bit of a history lesson that most all Nebraska fans know: Nebraska’s last national championship in football came in 1997. I turned three in 1997.
1997 was a long time ago. Bill Clinton was president. A gallon of gas was $1.23. Stamps were $0.32. The number 1 song in January of 1997 was “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton. The Spice Girls came out with “Wannabe” that year. TITANIC CAME OUT IN 1997 and Hercules and Good Burger and Flubber and Bean… Kids who were born in October of 1997 (probably celebratory babies from the national championship) are freshmen in college.
As much as I hate saying this: It’s time to get over it. It’s time to move on. We cannot compare ourselves to the 1990s anymore. Tommie Frazier is 41 now. In the words of Elsa from Frozen: Let it go.
Not everyone can be like Dr. Osborne. He was a great coach for a reason. He had eight 9-3 (sometimes a tie on there too) seasons. Nothing less than that. It also took him 22 seasons to win a national championship. 22 seasons.
Let’s take a look at Riley’s track record.
He’s coached some mediocre Winnipeg Blue Bombers teams, but he also has two Grey Cups (the Super Bowl for the CFL). He’s coached some pretty bad San Diego Chargers teams. He’s coached some pretty bad Oregon State teams. He’s also coached some good ones. From 1997-2014, Riley went to eight bowl games and won six of them. Right now, Nebraska is 2-4 and is most likely going to continue to get worse.
The last time a Nebraska coach had more than four losses on a season was Bill Callahan’s last season in 2007. That year, Nebraska was 5-7. In the history of Nebraska football, not many teams have had 7+ losses.
- 1899- Nebraska was 1-7 (A.E. Branch).
- 1942- Nebraska was 3-7 (Glenn Presnell).
- 1947- Nebraska was 2-7 (Bernie Masterson).
- 1948- Nebraska was 2-8 (George Clark).
- 1951- Nebraska was 2-8 (Bill Glassford).
- 1957- Nebraska was 1-9 (Bill Jennings).
- 2002- Nebraska was 7-7 (Frank Solich).
- 2007- Nebraska was 5-7 (Bill Callahan).
The last time Nebraska was 2-4 was 1959 (granted, Nebraska finished 4-6 that season, so it wasn’t as bad as the few seasons above). Alaska and Hawaii came states 49 and 50 that year. 1959 was the year when “The Day the Music Died” actually happened when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper went down in a plane crash. The Barbie doll made its debut. Pantyhose was introduced. Tailfins were still popular. Sleeping Beauty came out.
What are my two cents? Programs have momentum shifts like this all the time across the country. Unfortunately, Nebraska hasn’t had a shift like this since before most of its fans can remember. People born in 1959 turn 56 this year.The team I cover on a daily basis is 0-5, is widely regarded as the worst team in college football and is on pace to have its worst season in program history. But I digress, the situation in Nebraska sucks for the fans, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. It’s most likely, eventually, whether its next season or sometime down the road, going to get better.
Nebraska fans are pissed. I get it. I’m neutral on the situation. As someone from Nebraska, I’m shaking my head at a whole lot of things, but that’s the extent of it.
But just because Nebraska is a transition period and is having the worst season since before we went to the moon doesn’t give y’all the reason to be assholes. Seeing how all y’all are terribly volatile right now makes me incredibly sad and embarrassed to be from Nebraska. People across the country talk about how Nebraska has the best and nicest fans. Right now? No way in hell would I consider Nebraska fans nice people. Not right now. Some of the terrible things I’ve heard in person and seen on social media… be ashamed of yourselves. The people saying those things are making Nebraska look even worse than the situation on the field.
Be frustrated. Want more. Want Riley to be fired after one season or don’t. It doesn’t matter to me. But let go of 1997. And stop being assholes.